Survey Reports Game-Changing Impact of Pandemic on Career Decisions

April 16 02:42 2022
Survey Reports Game-Changing Impact of Pandemic on Career Decisions
There is a “Double Bubble” Beneath the Talent Pool’s Surface

“The Pandemic Workplace: Impact on Career Decisions” reports the undeniable and dominant preference to continue the flexibility to “work from anywhere.” The vast majority (98%) of respondents express a preference for a hybrid (56%) or fully remote (42%) office situation. O’Connell Group surveyed 1,240 professionals nationwide to examine how two years of remote work has influenced their career decisions, as well as the team culture and opportunities for advancement.

However, beyond the clear preference for workplace flexibilty, the most important takeaway is that the impact of “work from anywhere” is yet to come. There is a “double bubble” beneath the surface that has create near-term disruption in the talent pool as companies announce definitive plans for office attendance, as well as long-term effects on career advancement and team development.

The majority of respondents (72.3%) stated they had NOT looked  for a new job because of their current office situation. That is not surprising given that the majority of respondents (73.5%) have been working in the hybrid or remote office setting that aligns with their preference, and most expect this to continue in 2022. But they expressed strong “wait and see” sentiments indicating that the challenge will be real for organizations that ultimately decide to bring their teams back into a central office full-time.

But remote work brings long-term challenges, as well.

Respondents reported deterioration in camaraderie (64%) and building critical relationships (54%), and as well as the concern that working remotely could affect their career progression in the future (44%). Organizations that follow the “work from anywhere” path will need to be intentional in changing their practices for building and leading successful teams.

“Our survey shows Corporate America will need to deliver the benefits of remote and flexible workplace options with new ways to build a strong culture and pathways for advancement,” said Dixon Smith, Managing Principal of O’Connell Group.

The workforce is growing with a generation of professionals who have spent their entire lives building relationships through technology. They have very different expectations about how, where, when and why work intersects with their lives. They have an unprecedented moment with the power to re-imagine and reshape their careers to align with what they now know they can accomplish personally and professionally in a flexible work environment.

About the Survey

The Pandemic Workplace Survey reports the perspectives of people who typically worked with their teams in corporate office settings before the pandemic and primarily in the marketing and consumer insights professions. This is an important distinction to note, because the survey is not intended to represent service, manufacturing or other employees who do not have the option of working from home. The survey was conducted in October 2021. Access our Work-from-Home Infographic Library

Survey of professionals: Pandemic Workplace Survey: Impact on Career Decisions

Survey of hiring managers: Pandemic Workplace Survey: Impact on Team Culture, Recruitment and Retention

About O’Connell Group, LLC

Founded in 1993 by veterans of the consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry, O’Connell Group is a leading executive search firm in consumer marketing and insights. They serve companies nationwide, from America’s largest CPG leaders to entrepreneurial and private equity-backed enterprises. Clients also include consumer-driven, non-CPG companies who want to hire CPG talent.

Visit to download the survey.

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Country: United States